Knowledge and experience

Real knowledge can never be transmitted or taught, but must be personally experienced.

Imagine if I return from Cape Verde and try conveying my experiences. No matter how elaborate and enthusiastic my descriptions are, I cannot transfer the actual experience to you. As it is a living imprint in my soul, all you have are mental images and words. Now, if someone asked you about Cape Verde, you could only transmit learned descriptions, not living experiences. Hence, despite your words, you have no real knowledge. At best, only second-hand information.

From this arises the notion of dogma. Dogmas are mainly unexamined ideas transmitted without personal experience that are represented as knowledge. Dogma exists in every area of life today.

However, experience alone is insufficient for knowledge. If experiences are raw materials, knowledge is the result of the right processing those experiences. It requires keen reflection able to recognize universal principles operating within an experience. So, it is possible to have “a lot of experience”, yet little knowledge!

First there is the need for personal experience, then the right processing of that experience through intensive reflection. Only the outcome of this process can give us real knowledge about anything.

~Ikenna Q. Ezealah

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